October Speed Reads

Written by Jeff Cretan on . Posted in Books, Posts.

Killer Colt By Harold
Schechter, out now A history of the Colt brothers, one who invented the
famous handgun and the other who went on trial for gruesomely murdering a
man in New York. To Sound in the Know: This 1840s O.J. trial is known
for its gruesome details and for elevating the prominence (but not the
standards) of tabloid journalism.

House: A Novel By Nicole Krauss, out now Four stories, eight chapters,
themes of loss and sorrow, all linked together through time and space
by… a desk. Must be one magical desk. To Sound in the Know: This is
Krauss’ third novel, which puts her one up on writer husband Jonathan Safran Foer. Plus, she’s given birth twice. Clearly she’s winning.

Track By Joseph O’Neill, out now The New York-based novelist delves
into his own past in this true-crime history about why both of his
grandfathers were imprisoned (one in Ireland, one in Turkey) during
World War II.

To Sound in the Know: O’Neill’s 2008 novel Netherland won
the PEN/Faulkner Award, which is remarkable since he had to spend half
the book introducing Americans to the rules of cricket.

A Novel By Philip Roth, out now Roth returns to mid-century Newark
(will he ever leave?) to tell the story of Bucky Cantor, a playground
director who runs away to the Poconos. To Sound in the Know: This is
Roth’s 1,251st novel. Or something like that.

Science By Ben Goldacre, out Oct. 12 Goldacre examines the absurd, the
bogus, the untrue and the insane science that appears in our society. To
Sound in the Know: Goldacre writes a column of the same name in The Guardian.

in Siberia By Ian Frazier, out Oct.12 The humorist and essayist hits
the road and heads to Eastern Russia, which he explores with his
trademark wit and boundless curiosity. To Sound in the Know: Frazier has
worked for the Harvard Lampoon, Playboy and now, The New Yorker. Satire, sex and snobbery—quite the career path.

Palo Alto: Stories By James Franco, out Oct. 19 The actor currently starring as Allen Ginsberg in Howl reveals
his inner poet in this short story collection about the California
suburbs of his childhood. To Sound in the Know: Over the last several
years, Franco has studied writing at UCLA, Columbia, Brooklyn College
and is currently getting his PhD at Yale.

October Speed Reads

Written by Jeff Cretan on . Posted in Books, Posts.

The Butcher By Philip Carlo, Out Now The author of Gaspipe and Iceman tells
the story of Tommy “Karate” Pitera, one of the most feared mob hit men
ever, and the DEA agent who hunted him down in 1980s New York.

To Sound in the Know:Pitera, who trained in the martial arts in Japan as a teenager, killed an estimated 60 people.

Mennonite in a Little Black Dress By Rhoda Janzen, Out Oct. 13 In
this memoir, Janzen attempts to recover from a car accident after her
husband leaves her for a guy by moving back into her childhood home
with her Mennonite parents. That’s right…memoir. Not Lifetime movie.

To Sound in the Know: Janzen was poet laureate of the University of California from 1994 to 1997.

Chronic City By Jonathan Lethem, Out Oct. 13 Boerum Hill poster boy Lethem turns his sights across the East River to pen a novel about a former child star, a pop critic, a ghostwriter and a political fixer exploring the mysteries of Manhattan.

To Sound in the Know: Lethem
seems to have gone all Pynchon in naming his characters—Chase
Insteadman, Perkus Tooth and Oona Laszlo, just to name a few. Perhaps
it’s just the chronic.

Look at the Birdie By Kurt Vonnegut, Out Oct. 20 A collection of 14 previously unpublished short stories from early in Vonnegut’s writing career.

To Sound in the Know: This
is Vonnegut’s second posthumously published book.When discussing it,
make sure to sigh, shake your head and mutter “so tragic.”

Invisible: A Novel By Paul Auster, Out Oct. 27 Auster’s
15th novel follows three different narrators from 1967 to 2007, from
Manhattan to Paris to the Caribbean in this story of memory, identity
and all those wonderful themes that make Auster’s novels so Austerian.

To Sound in the Know:The story begins with a 20year-old at Columbia in 1967. Auster also was a 20-year-old at Columbia in 1967.

Bad Reputation By Penny Arcade, Out Oct. 30 This collection of three of Arcade’s cutting-edge plays also includes interviews, photographs and essays with the art-scene dynamo.

To Sound in the Know: Arcade (real name Susana Ventura) came up with her pseudonym at 17 while on LSD.

Girldrive By Nona Willis Aronowitz and Emma Bee Bernstein, Out Nov. 1
Journalists Aronowitz and Bernstein took to the road in 2007 to
interview 127 women that they profile in this exploration of young
women and feminism.

To Sound in the Know: Think Kerouac and Cassady cruising Route 66 in search of Steinem. Or the riot grrrl episode of Roseanne.